13 April 2012

Marriage: It's not all about you

Whenever I meet with a couple to prepare them for the Sacrament of Matrimony, I always make a point to remind the bride that the wedding is not about her.  Nor is it about the groom.  Nor is it about the bride and groom together.  The wedding day is about Jesus Christ and his love for his Bride, the Church, a love that is to be mirrored within the marriage of husband and wife.

I also remind the bride that she is not a princess.  We live in the United States of America where - so at least we claim - we like neither monarchy nor elitism.

Some brides are taken aback by these two reminders, not doubt in part because these reminders fly in the face of what they've been since there were about four years old.

Much of these false notions of marriage could no doubt be done away with if we in these United States celebrated marriage like this recent celebration in Uganda where 219 couples were married a single ceremony:
Pomp and excitement engulfed Christians of Nebbi Cathedral, in Nebbi Town on Saturday as 219 couples exchanged marriage vows to remain together till death does them apart in a mass wedding.

The wedding was organized by Nebbi Catholic diocese and sponsored by friends and well-wishers through St Peters Clever, Mulagu community parish.

The Bishop of Nebbi Catholic diocese Rt Rev Lino Sanctus Wanok presided over the mass which he described as the first of its kind in his pastoral work.

“It was on Saturday that God created human beings in his image and the image was in form of man and woman. Today in our diocese, we are experiencing a historic event that I have not witnessed in my life, that God is creating 219 families not in their ways but through sacrament of matrimony,” The Bishop said.

The couples who were mostly above 40 years of age could not hide their excitement as they kept on showing their loves to their better halves to the over 5000 congregation who turned up to witness the occasion [more].

One of the most frequent complaints I hear from brides is about the cost of weddings.  Though I always remind them that they do not need a large wedding party, an expensive dress, or a formal reception, they never listen (I take that back: one bride did listen, and the wedding was a truly happy occassion for everyone involved; the simplicity clearly pointed to their love).  Just think how much money could be saved by celebrating marriages in one ceremony.

Of course, that would mean that many people would have to realize - and publicly show - that marriage is not about them.

Capello tip to Deacon Kandra.


  1. Love it. I always tell people, it's not about the wedding, it's about the marriage. I can't stand that people go to so much effort to have a "perfect" day with out planning for what comes after the wedding - your "perfect" life. Guess what, it's not all perfect.

  2. What Ellen said. Yep. Exactly. The wedding is one day; the marriage (the sacrament) is for a lifetime.

  3. A very good read on Marriage!!http://drkellyflanagan.com/2012/03/02/marriage-is-for-losers/

  4. Anonymous9:18 PM

    Another way to give couples the joy of a big wedding at less cost might be to have them celebrate their marriages during regularly scheduled parish Masses, with the vows being said after the homily, and the parish then hosting a reception for them after Mass.

    It can be done and in fact WAS done right here in Springfield by Fr. David Hoefler at Blessed Sacrament, for a couple that were in the military, had to schedule their wedding on short notice and had few family members or friends in the area: